Fulham defeated Liverpool 1-0 in the English Premier League on Monday, registering their first ever league win at Anfield.
An early Martin Skrtel own-goal proved the difference between the teams, and the result moves ninth-placed Fulham level on points with Liverpool, who remain eighth thanks to their superior goal difference.
With an FA Cup final against Chelsea coming up on Saturday, Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish made nine changes from the team that started a 3-0 win over Norwich last week, although centre-forward Andy Carroll did return after recovering from a minor groin injury.
Fulham boss Martin Jol was again absent from the dugout as he continues to recover from a chest infection, with first-team coach Billy McKinlay taking charge.
Liverpool hardly had time to settle into the game before Fulham took the lead in the fifth minute.
Former Anfield favourite Jon Arne Riise galloped down the left flank and launched a low cross into the boss.
Alex Kacaniklic got a touch to it, and Martin Skrtel could only watch as the ball rebounded off his chest and into the goal, past a helpless Alexander Doni.
Skrtel went close to making amends three minutes later, heading wide from Fabio Aurelio’s eighth-minute free-kick.
Pavel Pogrebnyak spurned a chance to make it 2-0 to Fulham on 15 minutes, shooting straight at Doni after being played through with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Liverpool were largely outplayed early in the first half, but they did enjoy a sight of goal on 24 minute, with Kuyt sending a snapshot just wide of the post from Carroll’s layoff.
Jonjo Shelvey was inches away from making it 1-1 when his shot beat Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, only for centre-back Brede Hangeland to clear off the line.
Maxi Rodriguez, Shelvey and Carroll all had half-chances as the first 45 minutes drew to a close, with Schwarzer and the Fulham defence equal to the task.
Shelvey fired over from 30 yards barely seconds after the restart for the second half, and his midfield colleague Jay Spearing was next to test Schwarzer with a low, fizzing shot.
In response, Clint Dempsey headed wide from Damien Duff’s corner, before the latter narrowly failed to connect with Moussa Dembele’s ball into the box.
Fulham then had Hangeland to thank again for another crucial intervention, with the Norway international sliding to deny Rodriguez.
Substitute Kerim Frei nearly made it 2-0 to the visitors on 62 minutes, hitting the post with a flashing drive, before Riise also tested Doni.
Dempsey should have killed the game off on 78 minutes after Frei sent the US international through with only Doni to beat, but the goalkeeper pulled off a fantastic one-handed save to keep the score at 1-0.
A 92nd-minute Shelvey free kick represented Liverpool’s last real hope of an equaliser, but the midfielder blasted well over the crossbar.
Fulham are at home to Sunderland in the penultimate round of the season on Saturday, before finishing their campaign away to Tottenham on May 13.
Liverpool meanwhile tackle Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, before hosting Roberto di Matteo’s team again in the league, before signing off 2011/12 with a trip to face Swansea City.
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